Africa: Rwanda to Become Hub for Artificial Intelligence Research in Africa

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to take the world by storm, Rwanda is set to host a global technology company that will conduct AI research and solutions for Africa.

The London-based company, InstaDeep, will open its office in Kigali, said CEO Karim Beguir during an annual meeting of the African machine learning and artificial intelligence community with the mission to strengthen African AI, on September 8.

Artificial Intelligence, commonly known as AI, is any technology that enables machines to emulate human capabilities to sense, comprehend, and act.

For the most part, it focuses on automating a particular task and executing it in the most efficient way possible, exhibiting technological systems with an intellectual capability equal or greater to that of an individual across domains.

Rwanda is recognised as one of the first African nations to introduce a national AI policy. This policy focuses on six key areas: AI literacy, infrastructure, data strategy, AI adoption in both the public and private sectors and ethical implementation.

Beguir said it makes sense to deploy and grow their team in Kigali as Rwanda emerges as a leader in building the economy of the future.

Arnu Pretorius, InstaDeep’s head of AI research in Africa, was appointed to head the Kigali office. He said this presents an opportunity to strengthen AI in Africa and continue building towards sustainable solutions for the continent and beyond.

“Rwanda is at the forefront of policy, with the recent example of hosting a top AI global conference–ICLR–for the first time in Africa. Having an office in Kigali makes it possible for us to give many more opportunities for African AI talent from all corners of the continent.”

Currently, InstaDeep is present in Tunis, London, Lagos, Dubai, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, Boston, and San Francisco.

It finds an ecosystem championed by the Centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) tasked with the development of AI in the country, and other companies taking on AI solutions like Babyl in healthcare, and Zipline, among others.

When the country launched its national AI policy, Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, noted that Rwanda is positioning itself as the leading destination in Africa for experimenting with and developing trustworthy AI technologies contextualised for the African continent.

“To achieve this vision, the country has adopted an ambitious plan to leverage the power of AI to drive economic growth, enhance public service delivery, and foster inclusive and sustainable development,” she said.

While the government estimates a potential AI ecosystem worth $589 million in the next five years, implementing the policy will require an investment worth $76.5 million within the same period.


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